Marketing, PR & Advertising and Technology

Defining email marketing success

November 30, 2017
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Nearly 90 percent of organizations say they are focused on personalizing customer experiences when it comes to email marketing — yet 40 percent of shoppers say the information they get is not relevant, according to a recent article by The New York Times.

They reference an example where someone browsed Lord & Taylor’s website recently looking for a pair of tall black boots but left without making a purchase. A day later, the retailer emailed her, but instead of beckoning her back with a boot promo, it advertised 25-percent off dresses.

While the findings relate specifically to retail sector, the concepts hold true for B2B markets as well.

Here are a few things to be clear on when it comes to any email marketing strategy:

More is not better

During last year’s holiday season, retail emails increase 15 percent. Yet, shoppers opened 15 percent less of them.

It’s like marketers were handed this shiny, cost-effective gift to add to their toolbox 10 years ago, and they lost their minds. They realized how easy it was to send out an email newsletter to 50,000 people, so they started sending one every day, with the impression that, like wine, more is better.

Instead of sending 300 mass emails, invest the time and energy into delivering personalized content based on user behavior. Your user may not receive an email every day, but the ones they do see will be significantly more impactful.

Personalization vs. segmentation

When someone says “targeted emails,” you probably think about emails centered on demographic criteria, such as industry, job title, geography or gender. This is list segmentation. While the fact that men and women receive slightly different versions of your email newsletter is wonderful, that gender-segmented list of 5,000 industry CEOs is only a start.

To take your emails to the next level, you’ll need to think about personalization.

Personalization requires behavior. Instead of building emails around what a user is (CEO in the aerospace industry), your emails should focus on who that user is and what they’re doing and what they are looking for (CEO in the aerospace industry who typically opens their emails around 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. from his new iPhone X, using Gmail and is looking for ways to cut his transportation costs).

It’s all about the data

If you’ve met us, you know that data is our middle name and the basis for all that we do. Email marketing is no exception.

To achieve true, effective email personalization, you need to invest the time and energy into the data. Think through the user’s experience and determine which behavioral moments make sense to capture and respond to. Once you’ve identified that, you’ll need to set up your website, analytics, CRM and email marketing software to capture the data you need to execute this.

It’s not just for B2C

While most examples you’ll find out there pertain to the B2C model, email personalization works in the B2C space just as well. Maybe you don’t have an e-commerce model where users abandon shopping carts full of boots, but there is plenty of behavior you can track in the B2B space.

For example:

  • Resource downloads
  • Event attendance
  • Boxes checked on forms
  • Ads clicked
  • Pages visited

It may seem easier to continue sending your mass email newsletters and call it a day. But we assure you, if you invest the time into delivering relevant and personalized content, your return on investment will be evident. Because at the end of the day, you could have a list of 40 demographically identical CEOs, but they’re all a little different. And when you identify and respond to those differences, instead of the similarities, that’s when they’ll notice.

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